COVID-19 has accelerated internet usage and is making digital infrastructure even more indispensable globally. India is actively laying this critical infrastructure on the ground, but is yet to work on the strategic ‘last-mile’ connectivity space-based ICT and 5G plus services. U.S. and China have fast-tracked this, and India should immediately implement the recent space reforms to be regarded as a significant player.
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The COVID19-caused migration of India’s large workforce to their rural roots holds immense promise for the country’s agriculture productivity and farmer incomes. Precision agritech and satellite-as-a-service (SAAS) can reduce the urban-rural skill, remuneration, and digital divide. Time to privatize space technology for agricultural benefit.
On 15 July, the Indian space programme will achieve a feat with the Chandrayaan-2 mission. Two challenges lie ahead: the speedy construction of Chandrayaan-3 and the development of a public-private ecosystem of space capabilities
The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Cooperation (BECA), the last of the India-U.S. foundational agreements, will enable India to avail of U.S. expertise on geospatial intelligence and to sharpen the accuracy of weapons and automated hardware systems used for military purposes. But the over-emphasis on imaging in the agreement overlooks the likelihood of a clash between the telecom and meteorological technologies, which can hurt India’s crucial capabilities in space-based weather forecasting and disaster management
The NASA InSight mission has demonstrated that cube satellites can, after all, endure interplanetary travel. Such miniaturisation of technology looks set to disrupt the obsolete 20th century approach to space exploration. It will give rise to an interplanetary telecom industry, which is indispensable for the support of human presence on Mars
A grand achievement is a series of smaller, well-defined, and precise accomplishments. If the vision of putting an Indian on the moon has to materialise, it should be preceded by several smaller projects and diverse institutions meeting definite targets. What would these targets be? Where does India’s scientific community stand in meeting them as of this day? What kind, and how much, additional capacity needs to be added to the Indian science sector to put an Indian on the moon?
India’s human spaceflight programme calls for a strong symbiosis between the country’s private sector, defence, and civilian agencies. The focus should be on indigenous development to preserve strategic autonomy
Since Independence, India has been consumed by its domestic priorities. Now, with increasing integration with the world and a huge stake in global stability, it is time to focus on the global commons. India has a seat on the hightable to design and shape the rules for the governance of the global commons. In this special Independence Day Briefing, Gateway House examines India’s engagement with four global commons – technology, outer space, cyber and the oceans – and makes recommendations on how best they can be governed for our collective future.
Ownership of lunar artifacts – objects left behind by space missions – will become a vexing issue as the international footprint on the Moon grows. Such archaeological objects may be designated ‘national heritage’, but the site on which they exist ought to remain ‘a global common’, and not become a point of territorial contestation. The Moon needs to be managed by global consensus, prudence and realism.
This version of the Gateway House Map on China’s Expanding Global Telecom Empire identifies some more telecommunication assets -- optic-fibre and satellite ground stations -- that Beijing is working on in South and Central America, Africa, Myanmar, the Indian Ocean Region and mainland China besides the existing ones, such as the Pakistan East Africa Cable Express (PEACE). It shows the direction China’s investment is taking, its diplomatic overtures and the larger geopolitical implications of its growing telecom empire